I remember this day a year ago almost as clear as any other in my life.
I had the day off and was preparing to preach for the HUB at church. The talk was walking through some stuff in Eugene Peterson’s Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. A few weeks previous Kyle and I were eating lunch at Jason’s deli. As was his occasional habit he asked what I had been reading and I shared things from that book. He thought it was great stuff and picked a date on the calendar for me to talk it through.
One of the things I miss the most is having him ask me what I’m reading.
I finished working on the sermon on Tuesday and had Wednesday off. Kyle called in the morning and asked if I wanted to have lunch with him up at the church to talk through the night. He, Ben, Jamie, and I met upstairs for lunch. I remember I brought Jack in the Box, and he and the rest had stuff they made at home. (Isn’t it crazy the things you can remember?) The upstairs room has a DVR, so we spent lunch watching episodes of My Name is Earl.
When lunch was over we went downstairs. Kyle and I were in his office and I started to talk about the sermon. He waved me off, told me he trusted me, as long as I kept it brief. (I once had a hard time keeping it brief.) He told me he had met with a guy named Terry Esau earlier in the day and wanted my opinion on whether or not the church should do this “Surprise Me” experiment in Esau’s book. I said I felt it could either be the dumbest thing we ever did, or the most special. He agreed and said he thought we’d go ahead and do it.
I had already planned on seeing an afternoon showing of Elizabethtown and asked if he could get away as well. He thought about it and decided not to. With Baylor Homecoming approaching, he decided he was going to take Friday off and would need to work all day Wednesday getting stuff for Sunday ready. I left his office and that was the last time I saw him until Sunday morning.
I saw Elizabethtown, loved it, and at church that evening told him I enjoyed it enough to see it again. We decided that on Friday we’d find time to see it. Friday came and he decided to head out to his family’s ranch early, since his sister and her family was coming in.